APIs can be fairly called a force that powers innovative solutions bright entrepreneurs come up with in FinTech and beyond. APIs significantly ease and speed up innovation across industries as they allow businesses to not start from scratch and focus on improving the service instead of building the back-end that powers it. Probably, the vast majority of FinTech companies nowadays are either using APIs or moving towards implementation.
Another technology that seems to be gaining extraordinary momentum is blockchain. Needless to say, 2016 will be the year of distributed ledger technology application across industries with financial services probably being the one the most transformed by blockchain.
At the crossroads of APIs and blockchain, there are players that seek to empower startups and developers interested in the implementation of distributed ledger technology. Let’s look at some of the companies offering blockchain APIs for developers and enterprises for building the next generation of applications and providing access to vast market data.
ChromaWay offers CromaWallet API and ChromaNode. ChromaNode is a high-performance open-source bitcoin data API which enables SPV and supports notifications via the WebSocket protocol. It indexes the bitcoin blockchain and provides data to clients. In particular, it sends notifications about transactions and confirmations (blocks). ChromaNode is built with a scalable architecture allowing a distributed configuration where several servers cooperate to serve the data.
Bitcore is a full bitcoin node allowing apps run directly on the peer-to-peer network. By binding directly into bitcoin's source code, Bitcore's API is 20x faster than connecting to a separate bitcoin node, and orders of magnitude faster than a centralized API. Bitcore provides a blockchain API and the Insight blockchain explorer, right out of the box. A modular, service-based architecture makes Bitcore a great platform for enterprise applications.
Neuroware offers a range of specialized non-financial protocols for the blockchains and provides businesses with the tools and experience to properly leverage the benefits of distributed ledger technologies.
Tierion allows creating a verifiable record of any data or business process on the bitcoin blockchain by offering developer tools & API to anchor data in the blockchain. The company has developed an open standard called ChainPoint for recording data in the blockchain and generating blockchain receipts. Each receipt contains all the information needed to verify the data without relying on a trusted third party.
Gem offers an HTTP API so that it can be used from any language. The API hides much of the complexity of working with cryptocurrencies, but using it directly still requires some low-level knowledge. For that reason, Gem provides higher-level interfaces in several languages.
Coinbase’s API makes it easy to build new bitcoin apps and integrate bitcoin into existing applications. They enable a variety of capabilities; from simply gathering read-only data, to building something that’s never been done before. Coinbase’s APIs allow to generate bitcoin wallets and addresses, buy/sell and send/receive bitcoin, securely store bitcoin, etc. The company offers a variety of client libraries and mobile SDKs.
Colored Coin APIs allow to issue new assets, transfer assets between addresses and query for asset metadata and colored addresses that hold an asset.
Blockchain APIs allow developers to send and receive payment from a blockchain wallet account, programmatically create wallets for users with the ability to load and redeem funds. The APIs also provide access to currency data from the major bitcoin exchanges.
Factom Alpha API allows creating applications that store data in the blockchain without the speed, cost, or size limitations of writing data directly to the bitcoin blockchain. The company aims to give every developer the ability to use the blockchain to build a new generation of applications.
The Colu engine provides infrastructure for developers that seek to issue and manage digital assets on top of the bitcoin blockchain. The platform implements the Colored Coins protocol and provides developers with an easy to use API/SDK intended to lower the technical barriers required to build bitcoin-based digital assets applications.
BlockCypher API provides a set of the endpoints in addition to some special features like unconfirmed transaction confidence factor, dependable WebHook or not WebSockets-based events, on-chain microtransactions and payment forwarding.
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